Susquehanna state park has a large network of trails with a lot of features throughout the park including multiple champion trees. A champion tree is an unusually large specimen of a given tree species that was recorded as being the largest of its kind in the county or state at one point in time. This hike was intended to be a short walk to view an American Beech Tree, big tree champion. Additional information about the Maryland big tree database can be found in another blog post titled Into the Woods linked below:
This hike is a short one miler and is rated as easy/moderate. The hike should be manageable for most ability groups; however, there is an elevation change of approximately 150 feet over the course of approximately 1/4 mile straight out of the parking area. Some hikers may want to take a rest break as they climb the hill. The hike follows the deer creek loop and begins on the back center of the parking lot opposite the deer creek picnic area. Hikers looking for a longer hike may follow the entire deer creek loop but to keep this hike at a mile it is possible to bypass a large portion of the loop by cutting across where the trail winds back along itself. To do this hikers will have to walk off trail approximately 100 ft to intersect with the portion of the trail leading to the Beech Tree. I only recommend performing this route during the late winter/early spring when there is no active vegetation and it is easy to navigate off the path. Hikers are encouraged to stay on the path and follow leave no trace principles spring through fall to avoid trampling any vegetation.